Best Hotels for a Boracay Sunrise; Bulabog Beach!

Boracay is infamous for its White Beach; a stretch of beach on the west of the island, which measures approximately 4km, and has the softest, whitest sand imaginable.

Photo courtesy of www.windsurfasia.com

Photo courtesy of http://www.windsurfasia.com

On the East side of the island is Bulabog Beach, a coastal area which is a mecca for Wind and Kite Surfers and a fast growing alternative to the White Beach Party-scene, complemented by laid back bars and restaurants.

Being on the East of the island, accommodation here benefits from a cooling breeze, giving visitors respite from the barmy Boracay heat.  Amongst the bohemian surfer resorts, there are a number of luxurious hotels and villas. These are fitting rivals to the high-end Hotels located at Station 1, and are perfect for visitors who are looking to enjoy all that Boracay has to offer, but who want a beautiful bolt-hole from which to escape the crowds and party-scene.

Cohiba VillasSpecial Discounts of 40% off being offered here
These California-Beach House styled Villas and Apartments at Cohiba Villas, are located on the cliff side with stunning views across the whole bay of Bulabog Beach. The White buildings create a stunning, visual impact against the azure blue of a clear Boracay sky, further complimented by a large infinity pool with sun loungers and cabanas.

The Apartments at Cohiba Villas are some of the most spacious on the whole island, and are designed in such a way as to make the most of the natural sunlight that streams in through the sliding doors.Cohiba Villas Boracay The Apartments range from 1 to 3 Bedroomed, accommodating from 2-8 people respectively. All feature a fully fitted kitchen (although the resort owners are quick to point out that ‘fully fitted’ applies to the average cook and not gourmet chefs) open plan living-dining areas, with comfortable sofas and Cable TV, Wi-fi and a veranda or balcony with additional seating.

The Infinity pool, which includes a shallow pool for children, is an ideal place to relax and catch some sun rays, with gentle breezes, stylish loungers and umbrellas and a pool-side service from the serving staff, from the resorts excellent Restaurant and Bar. Set down slightly, in to the cliff side, are a couple of traditional cabanas for those who want to escape the sun whilst enjoying a delicious lunch or cocktail.

The staff service at Cohiba Villas is impeccable, with a well-trained team of people in Reception, house-keeping, maintenance, Waiting and Restaurant and Bar Staff, ready to ensure that you experience the best stay possible.

Cohiba restaurant staffWith the extra complements of a shuttle service, which runs from 8am-12 midnight, an emergency generator, 24 hour security and a 2nd Wi-Fi provider available in the restaurant, all the amenities come together to make this resort outstanding and a delightful stay.

Boracay GemsCurrently offering 25% off on their apartments for arrivals between Now and December 15 2014 these beautiful villas are located directly on Bulabog Beach, with a zen garden in front and veranda’s from which to relax and watch the kite surfing acrobatics. With the names of Ruby, Onyx, Opal and Jade, these beautiful spacious beach houses can accommodate 2-4 people and include a fully fitted kitchen, lounge diner, Master Bedroom and Loft Room.

Each is decorated in warm colours with luxurious furnishings and the ground floor villas feature sliding doors which open fully to make the most of the beautifully cooling ocean breeze.

Boracay Gems BoracayOn the beach path are two more Apartments from the Gems Family; Diamond and Sapphire. Sapphire is a studio apartment and is perfect for a couple seeking their own little nest. Diamond is set over two floors, with a loft style bedroom and a small balcony with sheltered views of the beach.

If it’s possible to have a crowning glory to these beautiful Boracay Gems Apartments and Villa’s, then it is the Emerald Premiere Villa, which is located at the prime beachfront of 7Stones Boracay.

7Stones Direct Emerald Premiere VillaEmerald Premiere Villa is the Apartment directly on the beach, with a long veranda and light, bright and spacious open plan living area and a Master Bedroom, with a king-size bed. A unique feature is a Double bed hidden in a recess in the Living room, converting it in to a villa for up to 4 people, whilst retaining the spacious feeling.

Guests staying at Emerald Premiere Villa, or the Pearl Superior Room next door to it (good for two people) have full use of the inviting 7 Stones Swimming pool, which features a pool-side bar. Guests can book this Apartment or Room at a rate that is considerably lower than other apartments in the complex.  Check them out here

Things to Do on Boracay: Breathe Underwater

There are so many things to do on Boracay and, often, so little time to achieve them all. What one thing would we recommend?

Get yourself underwater for a new view of Boracay and the experience of a lifetime.  The best part of this is ….. you don’t even need to know how to swim!  Really!

There are lots of diving courses or activities available ranging from Helmet Diving, Discover Scuba Diving through to PADI Certified Courses.

For the Beginners & non-swimmers the Helmet Diving Activity or Discover Scuba Diving session are perfect.  Neither activities require you to be able to swim.

With the Helmet Diving Activity, you will be taken out to sea in by speed boat and fitted Helmet Diving with boracay.travelwith a helmet, which has a breathing tube.  Initially the helmet is very heavy, but as soon as you have gone down the ladder to the sea bed the weight is lifted and it’s time to look around and take in all the sights of the corals and tropical fish. Take a waterproof camera or housing for your phone and make like James Bond 007.

Discover Scuba Diving is the perfect entry in to diving as a hobby or for those who just Discover Scuba Divingwant to give it a go, even for people who can not swim.  This activity always starts with some basic training, with a PADI video, orientation of the equipment and some guided training either in a pool or in the shallow waters off White Beach.  Then you’ll be taken out to one of Boracay’s many dive sites.  Each person has their own fully-qualified instructor with them, to guide them down, help equalize and to lead them to the best spots for fish-spotting.  For non-swimmers your instructor will physically lead you around throughout your time in the water.

Scuba Divers want to share their passion with you and so they will take you to the best spots where they know you will be swamped with Nemo’s, Sea Urchins, Star Fish, Schools of Neon’s and brightly coloured fish.

Want to enjoy the underwater world without getting wet? Take the Glass-Bottom Boat Tour.  This is perfect for family groups who want to play together and stay dry. This tour is two hours long and includes light snacks.  The boat will travel out to some of the best spots for fish and coral beds and for those who want to, you can don a life jacket and snorkeling gear and get in the water to get closer.

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For those who are already PADI-qualified or who want to become certified, this can also be achieved whilst you’re holidaying on Boracay.  Just click here for a full range and details of PADI Courses

Halloween on Boracay 2014

So, once again Boracay is preparing for Halloween and, each year, the party’s get bigger and the costumes get crazier.

Until around 5-6 years ago Halloween was barely celebrated at all on the island. In fact the only parties and costumes to be found was amongst the ex-pat communities.

Now the majority of hotels celebrate Halloween. For some it may be limited to decorating their Reception or Restaurant area, for others it may include a special meal, a fancy dress competition or parade and games for the children.

NEWSFLASH!! – Special Promo being offered specifically to us at YCL Hotel Boracay, the newest, funkiest hotel on Boracay

Whats on the Menu? Beach Buffet at Boracay Regency

Whats on the Menu?
Beach Buffet at Boracay Regency

What is Halloween?

Halloween is a night celebrated on 31st October, also known as All Hallows Eve or All Saints Eve, as the 1st of November is All Saints Day.  All Saints Day is a day dedicated to remembering the dead, including Saints (or Hallows), Martyrs and beloved family members, across the World.

Halloween is traditionally believed to have been a Pagan Festival (Gaelic Samhain), which became Christianised. Samhain marked the end of the harvest period for crops and the start of winter, or the ‘Dark Period’ in pre-Christian Britain and Europe. Samhain was believed to be a time when Spirits and Fairies could cross more easily in to the living world. To protect themselves from being taken back to the Spirit/Underworld people would dress up as spirits to disguise themselves, they would light bonfires and would also offer food and drink to the spirits to appease them and pay, in advance, for healthy crops the next year.

Today’s Halloween is very different, and whilst many cultures still see families visiting their Family mausoleums or grave sites to spend All Saints Day with passed family members, Halloween has become a night for parties and Trick or Treating.

Costumes are inventive and are no longer just scary or macabre; on Boracay groups of friends often choose a theme for their costumes which have included a Scout Troop, Avatar and Swan Lake!

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You can see these groups walking up and down the beach path, stopping to pose for photos with tourists and locals, or at the big clubs which run special Halloween Nights; Juice Bar, Epic, Summerplace, Club Paraw and Guilly’s Island

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Parades & Trick or Treating

Many of the Schools, and some of the hotels, now organise Beach Parades for the children on the island.  The parades usually include stop-offs at various beach front establishments and bars, where party games like ‘Bobbing for Apples’ are waiting.

Trick or Treating is left to the children and when asked ‘Trick or Treat?’, you can opt to give them some candy or ask for a ‘Trick’.  A trick may take the form of a short dance, a magic trick, a song or talent OR it might be a water pistol, or flour, or something that will make you jump.

NEWSFLASH!! – Special Promo being offered specifically to us at YCL Hotel Boracay, the newest, funkiest hotel on Boracay

After all those scares and all that partying, you’ll want to find somewhere safe and sound to rest your head and recover.  So Check out these great accommodation deals, which are available for the Halloween Period:-

Low Season Adventure Package

Villa Sunset Promo Package

Real Maris Island Getaway

Boracay Ocean Club Family Package

Boracay Super Group Deal

Christmas in Puerto Princesa Palawan; The Underground River & Christmas & New Year Deals

Boracay has long been held as the place to take your Christmas and New Year Family Vacation but, during the last two years, visitor numbers to Puerto Princesa have increased significantly. 

It is with this in mind that those in the travel industry are encouraging travellers to book ahead to avoid disappointment; especially if visitors also intend to visit the World Famous Underground River, at Sabang, as part of their holiday

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The Underground River, also known as Puerto Princesa’s Subterranean River National Park, is an UNESCO World Heritage Site, was awarded 7th New Natural Wonder of the World status in 2013, and is located 50 kilometres north of the city proper.  The river is now believed to be the World’s second longest navigable underground river, at 8.2 kilometres. General Tours, however, only cover the first 1.5 kilometres, which takes around 40 minutes.  The Underground River Authority have tested allowing greater numbers of visitors and deeper travel, further into the river, but assessments highlighted that not only did navigation became more difficult but there was also a negative impact on the unique fauna, flora and bat and swallow population of the caves and area. 

General Entrance Permit restrictions therefore apply, to keep any impact, by visitors to the cave, to a minimum. This mostly takes the form of maximum visitor numbers each day but visitors are also only allowed one visit a month. 

The Underground River Tour itself is only 40 minutes, but there is some waiting around and you will be away from Puerto Princesa for a whole day; the journey from the City to Sabang takes around 2 hours, the final paperwork elements and scheduling of your visit is undertaken on arrival by your tour guide, and you may take lunch before boarding a banca to take you to the entrance site.  From there you will again await your turn to board the wooden kayaks that will be your viewing platform as you’re paddled down the River. Whilst waiting your turn to board the Banca at Sabang, you can wander around some of the food and drink stalls, as well as the souvenir stalls and whilst waiting to board your kayak for the tour itself, you will likely be entertained by the antics of the the Long-tailed Macaque’s and, if you’re really lucky, you might see a Tabon Scrub Fowl or a Palawan Hornbill.

December through to February are one of the busiest times for the Underground River Authority and if your main reason for visiting Puerto Princesa is to take this tour, you should book a minimum of 2 months in advance of your trip.  This is not the ploy of travel agencies and marketing but the reality.  Other Super Peak Times for this tour are Chinese New Year, Holy Week and the ‘Summer’ months of April and May.

The Underground River, is not the only reason to visit Puerto Princesa, which is the capital of Palawan and often called ‘City in the Forest’. The city has been acclaimed several times as the cleanest and greenest city in the whole of the Philippines and has a wide range of attractions, ranging from beaches and beautiful islands to wildlife reserves. The Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour is another popular activity for visitors.  

Puerto Princesa is a nature lover’s paradise and, in keeping with its green image, smoking is not permitted at any of its tourist spots such as The Underground River, Mitra’s Ranch, Baker’s Hill and Binuatan Creatives, with heavy fines levied for those who are caught smoking or disposing of their cigarettes and cigars irresponsibly.

Image Bakers Hill                          Image Binuatan Weaving Centre

 

Deals & Promo’s currently on offer for Puerto Princesa:-

Puerto Princesa Early Bird Christmas New Year Promo  For Bookings Placed between June 11-July 31st 2014 ONLY!

Dates of Stay December 1 2014 – 31st January 2015.  Inclusions:-

  • 4 Nights/5 Days Accommodation, with breakfast, at Balay Tuko Garden Inn
  • Airport Transfer to hotel
  • Honda Bay Island Tour
  • Half Day City Tour
  • Firefly Watching Tour
  • Underground River Tour

 

Puerto Princesa 2 Nights/3 Day Accommodation with Tour

Package Inclusions:-

  • Standard Accommodation for 2 people
  • Airport Transfer to hotel
  • Tour of your choice (Underground River Tour, Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour or Irawan Eco Adventure & Zipline Tour)

 

Puerto Princesa Low Season Adventure Package  For Dates of Stay between June-November 2014

  • 3 Nights/4 Days Accommodation at Casa Mila Inn
  • Airport Transfer to hotel
  • Honda Bay Island Tour
  • Half Day City Tour
  • Firefly Watching Tour

Habagat on Boracay; Low Season Deals and Promo’s

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You may have heard the term ‘Habagat’ and wonder what it means.  Habagat is the name given to a period of time when the winds switch to South or South Westerly, and it can arrive on Boracay from early May and last right through to mid-October.  Weather conditions during this time are generally hot and humid, with frequent rainfall and a strong breeze.  This year Habagat arrived almost ‘on time’ during the week beginning 15th June 2014.

Habagat Season is a great time to visit Boracay.  Travellers can get last minute deals and packages online and the beaches, and tours and activities, are less crowded as the ‘summer season’ is over for the local Filipino and Asian holidaymakers.

International travellers can still experience a warmer climate than their own countries, especially visitors from some of the more Northern European Countries, who tend to take their summer holidays in the months of July-September. And for those travellers from hotter countries, the Habagat breeze and rains can be a welcome relief.

Habagat on Boracay tends to be a refreshing time and whilst there may be rainy days, generally rain falls during the evening and early hours, resulting in fresh and bright days. Tall bamboo and plastic Wind Breakers begin to be erected along White Beach and those bars and restaurants, which have open frontage, will also erect breakers.  Visitors will also see a lot of activity along the beach by businesses, locals and residents alike, who use this time to clear the beach of debris brought on shore by the winds and tides, and refresh properties ready for High Season.

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White Beach clears of boats and bancas, in comparison to Amihan Season, as all the boat tours and activities switch from White Beach to Bulabog Beach, on the East of the island.  This gives unparallelled views of the beach and this beautiful stretch of ocean, which is occasionally broken up by resident Kite Surfers & classes, who have moved from Bulabog Beach to White Beach during this time.

Some of the best Promo’s and Deals for Habagat Season:-

Adventure Promo for 2 People  includes Standard Accommodation for 2 people, with breakfast and two activities of your choice, from:- Jet Ski, Kayak, Fly Fish, Helmet Diving or Para-sailing.

Family Promo 3 days/4 nights  Travel Period June to 31st September 2014 includes:-

  • Standard Quad Room Accommodation for 4 people at Boracay Haven Resort, with breakfast
  • Round-Trip Airport Transfers,
  • 3 Family Activities (Helmet Diving, Zorb & Segeway, Glass-Bottom Boat Tour) and
  • a Pearl Massage for mum and dad at Spa Helios.
  • All for just 10,092PHP Per Person (£135/169 Euro’s)

2 Nights/3 days Promo for three people   Travel periods from June 1, 2014 till October 15, 2014. Package Inclusions:

  • 2 Nights/ 3 Days Standard Room Accommodation
  • Roundtrip Transfer Airport -Hotel
  • 60 minutes Segway
  • 60 minutes Bugcar
  • One go on the Zorb
  • One go on the Zipline

Boracay Ocean Club Family Deal Travel Period June – November 30 2014  Inclusions:

  • 3 Days/2 Nights accommodation in a Grand Deluxe Suite Room
  • Roundtrip Land and Boat Transfer (Caticlan-Resort-Caticlan)
  • Government Fee’s (Terminal and Environmental Fees)
  • Welcome drinks upon arrival at the resort
  • Two (2) breakfast
  • Complimentary Use of Swimming Pool

 

Other Blogs to check out for Kitesurfing in Boracay:-

http://www.kitesurfersblog.com/blog/kite/kitesurfing-travelling/kitesurfing-in-philippines/

http://langyaw.com/2013/10/31/kiteboarding-boracay/

http://www.windsurfasia.com/en

 

 

 

A Very Merry Boracay Christmas; booking your Christmas Stay

Christmas means different things to different people; a time for family, a time for thanksgiving, a time for fun and parties. On Boracay, it means the busiest time of the year for hotels, restaurants and bars!

Families, friends and couples descend on the island and if you haven’t booked your hotel by the start of October you could spend many frustrating hours, searching the internet, ringing around and trying to find vacancies.

For the most popular hotels and accommodation, such as Boracay Pito Huts and St Vincent Cottages, Christmas, and New Year, bookings really should be made as early as July and August to secure your preferred rooms.

Boracay Pito Huts is a small resort, on the edge of Station 3, with 7 beautifully designed Ifugao-inspired Huts which can accommodate between 2-3 people and up to 5 people with additional mattresses.  The dark wood interiors are complemented by crisp, white linens and whilst the Huts don’t have a beach view, it is just a few steps from the entrance of your Hut to White Beach.

Boracay Pito Huts

Boracay Pito Huts

Boracay Pito Huts now offers a BBQ for guests use, with guests supplying their own coals and disposable plates and cutlery. Immediately next door to Boracay Pito Huts is Yellow Cab Pizza, which is renowned for its delicious pizza’s and chicken wings.

Boracay Pito Huts also has one Beach House, with a large living area with sofa beds, a terraced balcony overlooking the beach path and White Beach, 2 bedrooms and bathrooms and one large loft room, which can be used as an additional sleeping area.  Whilst there is a kitchenette, there are no cooking facilities.   The Beach House can accommodate up to 15 people comfortably and is, by far, one of the most popular places to stay on the island.  As there is only one Beach House bookings should always be made far in advance of your intended stay date.

Boracay Pito Huts Beach House

Boracay Pito Huts Beach House

 

St Vincent Cottages, is a great budget hotel at Station 2, which offers double, triple, quad and large family rooms.  This hotel is ideal for people and groups who are looking to make the most of their Boracay holiday, whilst keeping costs down, even during one of the most expensive times to visit the island.  The rooms offer double beds, private bathrooms and towels and air-conditioning; the basics that are needed for your stay.

St Vincent Cottages Coco Rimas Boracay

St Vincent Cottages Coco Rimas Boracay

Helping to make your pesos go even further, St Vincent Cottages offers a common kitchen and eating area on their ground floor.  Guests are welcome to use the common kitchen utensils, plates and cups and a cooking fee applies as follows:- 35php per kilogram of rice or vegetables and 50PHP per kilogram for meat or fish (prices are subject to change, so double check on arrival).

Whilst Boracay Pito Huts is a mid-range Hotel and St Vincent Cottages is a budget hotel, they are equally as popular with returning and new travellers, and so early-bookings are recommended to avoid disappointment.

Book your Christmas/New Year Accommodation Now:-

 

Palawan Hotels – Puerto Princesa, what to do and where to stay

Palawan is often referred to as ‘the last frontier’; an exotic tourist destination with untouched islands, limestone cliffs, forest jungles, coral reefs and majestic mountains, teeming with wild life.  Palawan is a real treasure chest for visitors, offering lots to see and do.

Big Lagoon El Nido, Elephant Mountain Puerto Princesa & Sabang

Big Lagoon El Nido, Elephant Mountain Puerto Princesa & Sabang

 

 

 

 

 

Puerto Princesa is the capitol, a ‘city in the forest’ and has been acclaimed as the Cleanest & Greenest City in the Philippines; just 10 minutes away from the airport and you can be in a quiet area, surrounded by trees, and peace and quiet.

Whilst in Puerto Princesa there are lots to do, aside from visiting its most famous land-mark the Underground River  Whilst visitors, still need to pre-book (sometimes months in advance) for a tour, it remains a whole day excursion, with a 2 hour drive to Sabang, a wait for the permits to be issued and boat number to be assigned, then waiting at the entrance for your paddle boat.

Other Tours and Activities include a tour of Honda Bay, and its surrounding islands and the City Tour, which includes a visit to Baker’s Hill, with its bakery shop and colourful gardens, and the Binuatan Weaving Creations workshop, where you can purchase many of the items directly.  For those looking for a bit of action Irawan Eco Adventure Park is great fun, and boasts the longest zipline in Asia.  Although, in truth, it is not one continuous zipline but several sections, through the tree canopies and across rivers, and great fun none the less!  There is also a Skywalk, Butterfly Farm and Carabao Ride and a stop off for lunch.

Skywalk, Zipline & Carabao Ride on the Irawan Eco Adventure Tour

Skywalk, Zipline & Carabao Ride on the Irawan Eco Adventure Tour

Currently, there are a number of hotels and Pension Houses in Puerto Princesa that are running special offers.  These include:-

  • A&A Plaza, is located on the National Highway and is close to the Mall and other shops and restaurants.  Offering as much as 40-50% off on certain room types
  • Casa Mila Inn, one of the newest establishments, family owned, just 15 rooms and already making a name for itself. Offering a 5-10% discount
  • Cecilia’s Inn, is a modern property with a Victorian-style design. Located in the quiet area of Bancao-Bancao, Cecilia’s Inn is just 3 minutes by trike from the airport and from some of Puerto Princesa’s top Restaurants.
  • Hotel Fleuris, is another modern hotel with a swimming pool, 40 Rooms and 7 Suites, and disabled accessible rooms.  Currently offering a 15% discount for bookings between March & December 2014